19 August 2009


Again, it's difficult to disagree with anything Glennzilla sez.
The attempt to attract GOP support was the pretext which Democrats used to compromise continuously and water down the bill. But -- given the impossibility of achieving that goal -- isn't it fairly obvious that a desire for GOP support wasn't really the reason the Democrats were constantly watering down their own bill? Given the White House's central role in negotiating a secret deal with the pharmaceutical industry, its betrayal of Obama's clear promise to conduct negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN no less), Rahm's protection of Blue Dogs and accompanying attacks on progressives, and the complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists "centrists," it seems rather clear that the bill has been watered down, and the "public option" jettisoned, because that's the bill they want -- this was the plan all along.
Much has been made of the wide berth given by Democrats to the screaming, occasionally armed, town hall nutters when Bush and Co. would have anyone with a disagreeable t-shirt sent to the penalty box. Because, quite unintentionally, the crazies are doing the White House a favor by acting as a determined if deranged popular opposition--much out of proportion to the general public, of course--to any kind of public plan. "This is why they started from "public option" rather than "single payer;" they knew when the inevitable Broderist demands for bipartisanship came and they were forced to make concessions, they would already be much closer to the right.

By getting a bill that includes mandatory handouts to the insurance industry, Obama and Emmanuel get the best of all possible worlds. They please their Big Bidness sponsors and, in 2010, Democrats can go home claiming to have passed the promised Health Care Reform, and that will be the end of that for the next 20 years.